CITY OF LOVE ✈ A SNAPSHOT
Everything about Parisian culture seems to have been innately designed for love and for us here at FAB, it certainly is the epitome of romance. A city that covets some of the most famous pieces of artwork ever created and a multitude of stunning monuments, landmarks and attractions that together form an insanely beautiful backdrop for a lover’s stroll. Is it really any wonder that Paris is known the world over as “The City of Love”? You’ll seriously be spoiled for choice if you choose to marry in Paris and whether its overlooking the Seine or standing beneath the shadows of the Notre Dame, say “oui” at sunset in Paris and this timeless city will blush right along with you. So here is our Paris destination wedding guide to this chic and stylish lover’s paradise.
Paris Destination Wedding Guide
WEDDING CEREMONY VENUES
Catholic Ceremonies are not legally recognised in France and therefore can only take place if you have been married in a civil ceremony first. They also must take in a Chapel. Be sure to check out our Words of Wisdom at the bottom of the guide for more info.
St. Josephs ✈ This Catholic church is the only English speaking Catholic church in Paris. Located in Paris’ swish 8th arrondissement (district), it was founded by an Irish priest by the name of Fr. Ignatious Paoli. According to the St. Josephs church records, Oscar Wilde was baptised here before he died. I love when places have a good “and guess what” to them. Browse through their website to find lots of useful information.
Sara-Maria via Flickr
Here are a few quick links to other Catholic Chapels in Paris, one per arrondissement. These are all French speaking but they may extend an invitation to allow your own native – speaking priest to co-officiate.
Arrondissement 1 ✈ Eglise Saint Roch. Arrondissement 2 ✈ Our Lady of Victories Basillca. Arrondissement 3 ✈ St. Nicholas des Champs. Arrondissement 4 ✈ St. Paul – St. Louis. Arrondissement 5 ✈ Saint-Jacques du Haut-Pas. Arrondissement 6 ✈ Out Lady of the Fields. Arrondissement 7 ✈ Francis Xavier. Arrondissement 8 ✈ St. Augustine. Arrondissement 9 ✈ Holy Trinity. Arrondissement 10 ✈ St. Lawrence. Arrondissement 11 ✈ Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Arrondissement 12 ✈ St. Eloi. Arrondissement 13 ✈ Notre Dame de la Gare. Arrondissement 14 ✈ Our Lady of Labour. Arrondissement 15 ✈ St. John Baptist de la Salle. Arrondissement 16 ✈ Saint Pierre de Chaillot. Arrondissement 17 ✈ Saint-Ferdinand des Ternes. Arrondissement 18 ✈ Saint Jean-Baptiste de Belleville. Arrondissement 19 ✈ Saint-Jean de Montmartre. Arrondissement 20 ✈ Our Lady of the Cross.
For even more information on all Catholic Churches in Paris, here is a useful website but make sure to Google Translate!
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity ✈ The American Cathedral in Paris is located on Avenue George V, in the heart of Paris. An Episcopal Church that describes itself as being Protestant, yet Catholic, the order of service used for celebrating marriages is that from the Book of Common Prayer. Services can be carried out in English or in French. For lots more information, visit their website.
The American Church in Paris ✈ This gorgeous Gothic Style Church is located in front of the Seine River on the quai d’Orsay. The church is interdenominational and international Christian community church and is open to non -members for marriage blessings and renewal of vows.
St. Michaels Church ✈ Saint Michaels on Rue d’Aguesseau is Evangelical Anglican church serving the English speaking members of its community in Paris. Contact the church for information on getting their marriage blessings.
St. George’s Anglican Church ✈ Just a short walk from Place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, the Chaplain invites you to make an appointment to discuss your marriage preparations.
The Scots Kirk ✈ The only Church of Scotland in France can be found near the Champs-Élysées in Paris on rue Bayard. Again, you can contact the English speaking Church to have a chat about your marriage arrangements.
Symbolic Ceremonies are not legally binding in France but that does not mean you can’t have the most meaningful and romantic exchanging of vows you have ever dreamt of. Although there is no where near the amount of red tape you need to get through to be legally married in France, there are a few limitations. You can’t get married at Notre Dame Cathedral for example, or on top of the Eiffel Tower for that matter, but you can have a ceremony in front of them. Religious blessings in a church or a symbolic ceremony leaves you with a great deal more flexibility when it comes to celebrating your marriage in France but we strongly advise you seek the assistance of a good wedding planner.
DESTINATION WEDDING LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
WEDDING RECEPTION VENUES
La Grande Cascade ✈ La Grande Cascade was originally the private pavilion of Napoleon III. Located in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, it is very popular with Longchamp racecourse goers and with a Michelin star to its name, the Haute cuisine restaurant is classed as one of the top tables in Paris with its romantic and beautiful dining setting under spectacular chandeliers. True to Paris, this restaurant is quite expensive but it does offer private rooms for weddings and we think it is well worth a look.
La Perouse ✈ Rumor has it that the mirrors in this 17th Century town house still wear the diamond grazes from back in the day when mistresses didn’t take jewels at face value. Yes FAB readers, another venue with another story! Founded in 1776, Laperouse was formally a surreptitious rendezvous for French politicians and their courtesan mistresses; this gorgeous venue has long been thought of as a lover’s hideaway! Ideally located on the banks of the river Seine with a view that can be enjoyed from the Velvet Bar, it also overlooks the Ile de la Cite. This restaurant is full to the brim with character, from the original wood paneling to the pink velvet sofas and it just oozes romance. The kitchen has recently been taken over by Chef Jean-Sébastien Pouch and newlyweds, along with their guests, can expect to feast on Traditional French cuisine with a hint of Mediterranean flavor thrown in for good measure. Reserve one of the 6 cozy “salons” and you will really be in for a treat.
Ciel de Paris ✈ Located on the 56th floor of the tallest building in continental Europe, The Montparnesse Tower, Ciel De Paris offers guests a view that I don’t think any superlative could possibly describe. I’m not going to lie, this restaurant is not known for being the most amazing of gastronomic experiences in Paris and it certainly is pricey but let’s face it, with such a breathtaking view of the city glowing at night time, I don’t think anyone would notice if they were served cardboard! For pure romance, Ciel De Paris definitely makes our wedding list and we think you should check this place out.
Antoine ✈ This stunning house recently opened its doors after a yearlong restoration but my goodness, it does seem it was worth the wait. The restaurant is more modern in décor but it has one spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower. Located on the banks of the River Seine, Antoine is famous for its fish menu, particularly the Sea Bass of Quiberon (scales and all!). A hard find in Paris, a private room can comfortably host 14 for an intimate wedding dinner.
Le Chalet de Iles ✈ This venue is my absolute cup of tea! An old hunting lodge that we can again thank Napolean 111 for, this little find is only reachable by boat. Yes FABs, Le Chalet de Iles in on the Lac Inferieur, which if you are only starting your research, is situated in the Bois de Boulogne. OK, so it might be only 200 meters from Porta de la Muetta but there is still a touch of secret romance about this venue and I think it would make a great suprise for guests. Imagine being greeted in the winter by the blazing fire, absolutely charming. Well worth a look.
Bagatelle Le Restaurant ✈ Also in Bois de Boulogne is Bagatelle Le Restaurant. Located in the former stables, this lovely place is the perfect setting for a late summer lunch wedding. Different parts of the restaurant can be rented for private parties but the terrace is so stunning with gorgeous views of the gardens, it really is a rosemantic location for a wedding meal. What I love about this place is what happens at night. During the weekends between June and August, after the dinner service has finished for the night, bars, tents, and dj’s appear for an exclusive party in the forest. Great if you don’t fancy moving your guests back into the city to continue the wedding celebrations! This party is open to the public though but as they say, the more the merrier!
Le Meurice.✈ Located in the heart of Paris and overlooking the Tuileries Gardens, this luxury 5 star hotel needs little by way of introduction. Spectacularly grand, Le Meurice also boasts 3 Michelin stars and decor inspired by Versaille’s Salon de la Paix for it’s Restaurant Le Meaurice, lavish dining rooms, magnificent crystal chandeliers and an antique collection that showcases the French art of living in unbelievable style. We wont say anymore except that we’d be quite happy to dance our wedding night away in a ballroom of this Parisian Palace! Actually, we’d be happy if we even got to stare in the window and drool over someone else’s wedding here!
Hotel Le Bristol. ✈ Another 5 star landmark in Paris, Hotel Le Bristol is located just steps away from the Champs-Elysées and the Louvre. Similar to its rival above, it is unashamedly extravagant and definitely shows off Parisian elegance and finesse at it’s best. A wedding in the courtyard here would be just beautiful and romantic but you also have a choice of reception rooms or the 3 star Michelin restaurant to pick from if you decide to splash out on your big day.
Hotel Particulier Montmartre. ✈ Looking at pictures of this hotel, you would never think that it could be located in the centre of Paris, but it is and we are so glad we found it. Just five minutes from Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, a secret passage will lead you to the curious black iron gates of this hotel. Behind them, nestled amongst the leafy green gardens, stands Hotel Particulier Montmartre in all it’s finery. The five bedrooms in this Directoire townhouse were designed by 5 different world renowned artists and it really is an art lovers dream. Although the hotel doesn’t have a restaurant, special dinner arrangements can be made with notice and the Baroque-style salle à manger is such a stunning room, we think it would be just gorgeous for an intimate family wedding reception.
Chateau De Mery ✈ So far we have shown you a tiny snippet of what the heart of Paris has to offer, and gosh is it good but if you are prepared to venture just45 minutes north of the capitol, you will find Chateau de Mery. We haven’t featured this in the Castles section because not only are the grounds home to a chapel where you can say your “I do’s” and a historic chateau that dates back to the year 872 where your guests are sure to be entertained all night long, the grounds also boast a seriously ultra-mod hotel designed by Claude Ginsburger where your guests can occupy all 70 rooms if you wish! Party anyone?
Another great option for your wedding celebrations, whether you and your betrothed are planning an evening just for the two of you or with guests, is to cruise along the magical River Seine and take in all of what Paris has to offer at sunset. For something a little different again, you can even choose to cruise down the Canal and hop off to eat along the way… either-way, we don’t think you will be disappointed. There are plenty of operators offering such cruises if you want to google search but we have pre-selected a few to get you started.
Concorde Atlantique ✈ Unfortunately their website isn’t very informative but there are some lovely pictures and we think they are worth contacting.
Le Compagnie des Bateaux a Roue ✈ Dine while your cruise down the Seine and enjoy the panoramic view of Paris for 2.5 hours and party when you are back at the quayside.
Yachts de Paris ✈ Can cater for groups of all sizes across their fleet of 8 boats.
Péniche Le Makaï ✈ Moored on the right bank of the River Seine, Péniche Le Makaï can cater for up to 100 guests. If you decide to cruise, they can cater for up to 50 people. You even have the option to personally style this boat for your wedding if you wish.
Canauxrama ✈ Canauxrama offer guided cruises along Canal St. Martin. A great way to see Paris in style.
CASTLES, PALACES & ANCIENT RESIDENCES
Le Prieuré de Vernelle ✈ This Benedictine priory dating from the 12th century is only a 45 minute drive from Paris. Two reception rooms can cater for up to 50 and 200 guests and accommodation is available for up to 55 guests.
Moulin de Dampierre ✈ Moulin de Dampierre is a 15th Century Mill only 35km south of Paris and a really great find. It is difficult to get information and pictures on this Mill as it has no official website but the ones we have come across are just so characterful that we couldn’t pass. If you are looking for something a bit different, we think this could be a fantastic spot and at the very least, should be checked out in person on your planning trip to Paris. Can seat up to 140 people for dinner.
Domaine de la Butteronde ✈ We couldn’t stop “oohing” and “aahing” when we came across Domain de la Butteronde! This haven can be found in the heart of the Rambouillet Forest, 49km from Paris. A former 19th century hunting lodge, it sits on 42 hectares of meadows, ponds and stables. A guestlist of up to 350 people can be accommodated here with room for 130 guests to stay over. The Domaine also has an indoor heated pool and numerous reception rooms, some with breathtaking views of the estate, others with the coziest fireplaces. you’ve ever seen. Have a look for yourself.
Manoir des Prevanches ✈ Getting a little bit further away from Paris now but still less than an hour away, Maoir des Prevanches is like something from a fairytale. This Manoir can be yours for the weekend. With overnight accommodation for 55 guests between the nine rooms in the manor and the 5 sweet little cottages on the ground, it would be an ideal spot for a destination wedding. Enjoy drinks and a BBQ out on the lawn or a candlelit dinner in the barn, just lovely.
Chateau de Brou ✈ Completely surrounded by 100 -hectares of forrest, Chateau de Brou overlooks the Manse and Courtineau valleys. Chateau de Brou is 270kms away from Paris so it might be too far but if you are looking to use Paris as a base and travel from there, it could still possibly be a great location. There are 14 bedrooms in the chateau and wedding parties have the option of renting it out exclusively. Catering can be organised although there is a restaurant onsite. Activities can also be arranged for guests in the area so with the distance from Paris, it’s worth travelling up the day before to relax and enjoy all this beautiful Chateau has to offer.
Domaine Saint Clair ✈ Ooooh…. this place is gorgeous! Perched atop a cliff about 150km from Paris, we are convinced it is worth the journey! The Anglo – Norman Castle is composed of a dungeon and a villa, with charming features reminiscent of the Belle Epoque era of it’s day. Wedding parties of 80 or more will allow for exclusive use of the castle and 21 bedrooms are available to overnight guests. Guests can also soak up the sun at the outdoor pool or take a stroll in the nearby park.
Private Car Rental ✈ A 1929 Morris Leon Bollee, An 1952 Renault 4CV and Convertible Spitfire Triumph!
Anciennes de Prestige ✈ Great range of cars from Fiat 500’s to an 1955 Aston Martin Lagonda
A vintage Citreon 2 CV ✈ A great way to get around Paris for all of those wedding photos!
CATERING & CAKES
Eye Candy Cakes ✈ Bi-lingual
Ethique et Toques ✈ Eco friendly
France is famous for it’s markets and in Paris, it’s no exception. If you are trying to keep to a budget or just like the idea of putting your own flowers together for your Parisian wedding, why not take a stroll and visit one of Paris’ oldest markets dedicated to flowers. The Marche aux fleurs is open everyday from 08.00 to 19.30, can be found at this address, Place Louis Lépine, Quai de la Corse, 75001 Paris and is easily accessible by bus and metro; Bus : 21, 38, 47, 85, 96, Metro : Line 4 – Cité
HAIR & MAKE UP
Maitre Barbier ✈ For him
PHOTOGRAPHERS & VIDEOGRAPHERS
PLANES TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES
TRAVELING TO PARIS ✈ There are three main airports in Paris, Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais.
Charles de Gaulle ✈ This is Frances largest airport and is quite accessible. With three terminals, a free shuttle bus runs between terminal one and two. terminal two is where you will find the SNCF train station and this will bring you straight into the centre of Paris.Other options are to take the Roissy bus from terminal 1,2 or 3 to Opera or the RER Line B.
Orly ✈ Frances second largest airport is divided into Sud and Oest.The 14e bus travels between Orly and Denfert – Rochereau. A free shuttle can bring you to Pont de Rungis where you can hop on the RER line C. Another option is to take the Orlyval bus as far as Antony where you can catch the RER line B into the centre of Paris.
Beauvis ✈ For all you Ryanair fans, this is the airport you will most likely be traveling into. The 17e takes you into Porte Maillot and you can also take a taxi. This unfortunately will set you back in and around 160 euro and will take up to 1.5 hours.
GETTING AROUND PARIS ✈ The best way to get around Paris is definitely on foot, especially if you want to take in as many of the sights and as much the cities charm as possible, however, if you find you are getting a little bit weary, here are two alternative options.
Velib’ City Bikes ✈ The Velib bike service is a great way to get around Paris. With over 20,000 bikes, 300 rental stations around the city and availability 24hrs a day, it is the largest bike sharing system in the world. A security deposit of 150 Euro is required but with the first half hour free and only 1.70 euro per day thereafter, it is a super cheap and cheerful way to go wedding-venue-seeing. There are dedicated cycle lanes designated for cyclists and maps are available from any city hall.
Metro ✈ A fast way to get around Paris with 16 lines bisecting the city but you don’t get to see a thing. If you are in a rush, take the metro but be warned, they are crowed and there is no air conditioning. Trains run every 2 minutes during peak hours and then averaging at 7 minutes off-peak.
Train ✈ The RER has 5 lines and only stops at the main stations so it might be quicker than hopping on the metro. Avoid at night.
Buses ✈ Good for sight-seeing if your feet have given up but at rush hour, traffic can be a major problem and end up slowing you down. Tickets are only valid for one journey so you can end up spending more too.
Taxis ✈ The most convenient option at night and there are plenty available in the city. Fares do increase at night and if you have luggage.
APARTMENTS ✈ Hotel rooms are notoriously small in Paris, especially for the price. Whether you are in Paris to plan a wedding or on your honeymoon, an apartment offers more comfort and space. Prices are generally quoted for weekly stays but more often than not, shorter term rental is available.
WHILE IN PARIS
The Pont des Arts ✈ Probably the most romantic bridge in Paris where generations of lovers have come to mark their everlasting love. Bring or buy a lock, engrave your names, lock the lock to the bridge and throw the key into the Seine. Don’t forget to take a picture!
Carousels ✈ Don’t miss a great photo opportunity if you marry in Paris. There is one right by the Eiffel Tower so you have no excuse! So colourful and so much fun… a great memory to have of your wedding the City of Lights.
WORDS OF WISDOM
A few quick facts you should know before you start planning your Parisian wedding.
1) French law only recognises Civil Marriage, so in order to have a religious ceremony in any part of France; you must have had a civil ceremony first.
2) If you choose to have your civil ceremony in your own country, be sure to check with the French consulate in your area that your marriage certificate will be acceptable in France if you are not from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
3) Marriage Certificates must be translated into French by an approved translator.
4) You can have a civil ceremony in France if you wish, but you or your partner must have been resident in a Commune for 40 consecutive days prior to the civil marriage and must make your application to hold the service in the town hall of the same commune. For more information, please contact the French consulate in your area.
SPEAK THE LANGUAGE
Hello! ✈ Salut
Thank You ✈ Merci
Excuse Me ✈ Excusez Moi
Good bye! ✈ Au Revoir
Yes ✈ Oui
No ✈ Non
The train station ✈ La Gare
I want to go to… ✈ Je veux aller à….
I’d like more wine please! ✈ Je voudrais plus de vin s’il vous plaît!
Who forgot the SatNav? ✈ Qui a oublié les SatNav?
The bride looks amazing! ✈ La mariée semble incroyable
He is a very lucky guy ✈ Il a beaucoup de chance!
If you have any suggestions you think we should add to our Paris Destination Wedding Guide (or if you would like to help us improve our French!) please leave a comment or email us with your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love latest updates and personal experiences so keep them coming!